There’s a lot more risk in the shipping industry than most people even recognize. We always think of damaged or lost cargo as a “worst case scenario”, but the truth is, freight loss and product damage occur in the shipping process all the time. While there’s not much that can be done by the customer to avoid the fault of carriers before an incident occurs, there are precautions that can be taken to ensure your finances are protected throughout the process.
3 Trucking Insurance Options
There is a ton of trucking insurance options out there, and each one is meant for different parties and responsibilities – it’s not always just a question of “how much”, but also an issue of the intent of the coverage. Here is a high-level overview of a few popular types of trucking insurance options:
Motor Carrier Contingent Liability Insurance
The way the trucking industry works, truckers are usually paid as contractors rather than employees. This is often the staffing practice of carriers in order to reduce the risks associated with having employees on a W2, such as workers compensation programs.
However, the lines between contractor and employee status can get blurry in a court room if so much as a single qualifying condition of a contractor is broken throughout the entirety of their employment. This puts carriers at risk of being sued, which is the reason Motor Carrier Contingent Liability Insurance was created.
This type of insurance protects carriers against lawsuits by workers in the chance the contractor wins the lawsuit settlement.
Motor Truck General Liability Insurance
This is a bit of a tricky one. Motor Truck General Liability Insurance protects you from business-activity related damages that are not caused by regular driving activities. This could mean emptying a liquid or powder from a truck into the wrong bin at a facility upon arrival, which would ultimately destroy a product in the aftermath. While this was directly the driver’s fault, it was not a damage inflicted by his “driving activities”, so trucking insurance that covers driving activities would not suffice for coverage in this instance.
This is what Motor Truck General Liability Insurance is for. Depending on the type of industry you are in, this insurance may or may not be worth it. But the chances are, if you are moving multiple truckloads per day for various businesses, damages not related to driving activities are bound to come up at some point. It’s always a good idea to stay covered!
Non-Trucking Liability Insurance
Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is meant to protect you against any damages or harm caused during personal use of a truck. But keep in mind, “personal use” means a lot more than simply driving outside of work hours.
As a contractor – which many truckers are – you are paid for activities involving the pickup and delivery of cargo. That means driving after hours, or even between pickups is not a “business activity”, but rather a “personal activity”. Any damages or bodily harm that occur in these windows of time would not be covered by traditional means of trucking insurance. That’s what Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is meant for: to protect you against mishaps that occur outside of the window of operating business activity hours!
Commerce Express would be happy to help any additional questions you might have! Feel free to contact us anytime!